COCONUTS HOT SPOT — Locals like to say that Thailand has only two seasons: “hot” and “very hot.” So, no matter which one it is, I guess we’re allowed to dig into a bowl or two of bingsu without feeling guilty. Thankfully, Sulbing, the trendy dessert cafe from South Korea, just opened its shop in Siam Square.
“Bingsu” (literally translated as “ice” and “water” in Korean, as I’ve been told) is the newest version of shaved ice to arrive in town. Don’t offend bingsu fanatics by saying that “all shaved ices are the same” because they will take that as blasphemy. Try bingsu once and it will make you think twice about generalizing all ice desserts.
What makes bingsu extraordinary is that the ice has been grated so finely that the texture feel like biting into freshly fallen snow. Amazing as it is, bingsu isn’t ice cream, it’s solidified H2O, shaved into a mountain, blended with flavored syrup and topped with yummy goodies that make the entire situation an experience in next-level deliciousness.
So far in Bangkok, there are several big names that serve up pretty decent bingsu. You can get a sweet ice fix at Seobinggo, Holly Coffee, Noonkotsi, and Snowfall House but, if I had to choose just one place to showcase the many different subtleties of bingsu, I would pick Sulbing.
The most classic flavor is Injeolmi Bingsu — the soft, cream-colored mountain covered with peanut powder, almond, and mochi toppings. This is supposedly the favored flavor for Koreans but well… not necessarily for the Thai locals that I know.
Tong Tong Melon Sulbing
More popular choices in Bangkok are the fruitier bingsu options with toppings that include: green melon, strawberry and mango. Chances are, when you sit down during a peak hour at Sulbing, you will spot at least two or three green-melon domes at the tables nearby. This is the shop’s signature, Tong Tong Melon Sulbing (THB385), which comes with an edible green melon cover and a load of red bean, mochi and cornflakes sitting on a hill of snowy, milky shaved ice.
Han Strawberry Sulbing
When the bingsu doesn’t come in the shape of a dome, it comes in a ceramic bowl, like your own tiny, frozen pond. The Han Strawberry Sulbing (THB395) is served this way, packed with layers of snow-white ice, sliced strawberries, and a cake base at the bottom. For strawberry lovers, this will be quite a satisfying treat. If you prefer the dramatic look of an ice mountain though, you can opt for the dome-shaped Strawberry Bingsu (THB370).
Han Strawberry Sulbing
And let’s not forget the chocolate lovers! Sulbing has a pretty, chocolaty bowl of bingsu that will smother you with sweetness. They call this one Real Chocolate Sulbing (THB195) and, as the name suggests, the chocolate is as real as it can get. The amount given would break any diet, even if you share with a friend, but why would you care?
Real Chocolate Sulbing
Last but not least, Sulbing’s Cheese Binsu (THB290) is something you will be tempted to try at least once. The main toppings are chunks of intensely sweet cheesecake that lean more towards “cheese” than “cake”.
No matter which bowl you pick at Sulbing, don’t be too greedy with the bottomless condensed milk jar offered at the water station. Too much of that, and your bingsu could turn into an obesity booster in a bowl.
Hours: 11am – 11pm
Siam Square soi 11